What is a Lurcher?
A Lurcher is not a specific breed, but rather a sighthound that has been bred with some type of hunting breed, e.g. Coonhounds, Pointers, or Labrador Retrievers. The majority of the Lurchers available at MNGR are brought in through our association with the American Lurcher Project.
Lurchers in the US have two main purposes. In Ohio and surrounding areas, Lurchers are also called “field trailers,” and are used for amateur (unregulated) racing and for field trials. As long as they continue to win, they will continue to race without regard for their age and may race until they are 8-9 years of age. They are raced on longer and often rougher tracks than the NGA greyhounds, often with live bait. When the dogs are no longer winning or being used for field trials, many are left behind, killed outright, or dumped at shelters.
In the Dakotas and Montana, and also in the Southwest, Lurchers are used as coyote hunters on farms. Living outside or in barns, these dogs kill coyotes and generally receive minimal medical care for the resulting injuries. Like their Ohio counterparts, when they are no longer successful hunters, they are generally shot or dumped at shelters.
Most Lurchers are easily trained and many have a zest for obedience training. They can be very active, but like Greyhounds, they also enjoy lots of couch time. They are very loyal and loving to their humans. Many have had no training and may benefit from basic obedience classes as long as the trainer is very positive.
Lurchers, while sharing many traits with purebred racetrack greyhounds, do have some differences. The particular mix (Labrador, Coonhound, etc.) will result in different temperaments and energy levels. Most of the Lurchers we receive are mostly (7/8ths) Greyhound, but they may be up to 1/2 hunting breed. Lurchers can often play a little rougher than a typical greyhound (more like a Lab plays), and may like to spend a little more time outdoors running around. They also have not had the regimented racetrack upbringing that an ex-racer has.
Lurchers make super pets and they certainly deserve a forever couch with a loving family. Many of these dogs have lived their entire lives outside and are not used to living in a house. They are very appreciative of a home and a soft bed. They generally do best with a fenced in yard, but we will consider homes who can commit to daily on-leash walks and exercise.
We want to encourage all our adopters to consider one of our Lurchers. The need is just as great as for racing dogs. However, because they don’t always look like supermodel greyhounds, our Lurchers can wait longer to be placed in homes. MNGR is the only Greyhound adoption group in the state who will take greyhound mixes, and there are many who need rescue. Please let us know if you think your family might be right for a Lurcher!